Why Plant Churches in the US

Why Plant Churches in the US   The mission of Every Nation Ministries work, which Cindy and I have served with for more than 15 years, is to make disciples and establish Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially-responsible churches and campus ministries in Read more

Why Reach International Students in the US for Jesus?

Reaching the Nations from Your Doorstep   With world evangelism as a priority, Christians have moved all over the world taking the Gospel to every nation of the earth.  Personally, Cindy and I have spent the last seven years starting Read more

Every Nation in Our Generation

Every Nation Ministries is part of a worldwide movement that exists to honor God and advance His Kingdom through church planting, campus ministry and world missions. Since its inception in 1994, Every Nation Ministries has grown from a handful of Read more

Myanmar, Malaysia, Loas, China, Thailand, Iran, India…

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Barack Obama is elected president, the world is rocked by a financial meltdown, gasoline shortages in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Malaysia is in the midst of political upheaval, yet the Lord of Heaven is still sovereign over all.  It is amazing all the change that can take place in the matter of one month.

Like you, Cindy and I are facing a time of great testing in our finances and ministry assignment.  But in the midst of it all, the Lord is using these trials to make us more dependent on Him (a good thing) and is teaching us how to live above the circumstances of life (good thing).  We pray He is doing the same for you!

Another lesson we have learned, is that when the markets go DOWN, people’s openness to God goes UP.  The global markets make be in a recession, but the work of the Lord is advancing like never before, particularly here in Asia.

This month we gather in Kuala Lumpur for Every Nations Asian Pastors Equipping Conference.  It was an incredible gathering of EN pastors from the Middle East, SE Asia and Central Asia.  Over 160 pastors and their wives gathered to encourage one another and strategically plan EN’s work in this region.  You would have been incredibly proud to see the team of which YOU are a part.

Currently, there are 94 existing churches and church plants taking place in 24 nations throughout the Middle East and Asia.  So many pastors and there young families are making incredible sacrifices to make Jesus known in such difficult places.  Some of those pastors we spent time with are serving in Laos, UAE, Egypt, India, Myanmar, Laos, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia and the North Korean border.

Your partnership is what allows missionaries like Cindy and I to proclaim the Gospel and help establish churches here in Asia.  God has always used people to spread the Gospel message.  And today He is using YOU to make an impact in Malaysia and throughout Asia.  We are incredible grateful to be paired up with you in spreading the good news of Jesus here.

Remember, true peace is not calming the storms of life, but like Jesus, being able to sleep peacefully in the boat as the storms rage.  We pray the Lord will do a great work in your life today and in this coming season.  God bless and have a great holiday!


3 Simple “Steps” to Change a Person’s Forever

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What if redirecting a person’s forever really is as simple as walking across a room?  Is it possible that 3 (or more) simple steps could be the key to someone spending eternity with their heavenly Father?

While most Christians don’t get called to the overseas mission field , we are all called to just walk across the room to begin the process of introducing people to Jesus.  Often those simple steps, can seem as terrifying as a move to a foreign nation.

Until our family gets fully settled into our new home, we know it is not the time to focus on “community outreaches” or “evangelism strategies”.  But everyday, everywhere we go in Penang we are committed to be led by the Holy Spirit are are willing to just walk across the room.

Because of this, we have met so many amazing and ethnically diverse people here.  We’re not sure where these relationships will lead yet, but we dare to believe and are praying their lives will be eternally changed because of our simple steps.  Here are just a few of the people we’ve met so far:

 

  • Anaaz, the Malay (Muslim) Starbucks barista who’s wife is about to have her first child and wants to meet for parenting advice.

 

  • Hafeez, the Malay (Muslim) salesman at Celebrity fitness who talks with me during each visit to the gym.

 

  • Paschal, the Indian personal trainer who was assigned to me for 5 complimentary sessions of personal training. He later agreed to 5 sessions with me to help train his “inner man”.

 

Ayang and Koon, the Burmese couple who sell fruit drinks at our favorite Penang street food “hawker”stand.  They were in shock when we invited them to our home for dinner.

From Nashville to New Zealand, from Cleveland to Kuala Lumpur, there are endless people who are longing for someone to just walk across the room and take an interest in their lives.  And help themexperience God’s love through YOUR smile, love and encouragement.  We’re cheering you on from Penang, go take a walk today!

Thanks so much for encouraging us and praying for us in our move to Malaysia.  Through your support you are planting a church in a Muslim nation.  Cindy and I are so grateful for you and will continue to keep you in our prayers. Thanks again and God bless you!


 

Starbucks, Venti Lattes, Anaaz and the Gospel

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Malaysia is a land where the world’s “great” religions collide like no other.  And there is a very realspiritual battle for the heart and soul of young Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus here.  But surprisingly I’ve found a “neutral” place where guards are dropped and minds are most open.  That place is Starbucks, and Old Town Coffee and Gloria Jeans Coffeehouse, pick your coffee shop.

It amazes me that almost every time I enter a coffee shop, which is almost daily, there’s someone eager to have chat and have a conversation.  And when they find out I am an American their curiosity and questions usually increase.  Nothing seems to drop the guard of the young cross cultural crowd at Starbucks like a Venti Triple Shot Vanilla Latte.  That coffee drink does the trick for me.

In fact, my last 30 minutes were just spent with Anaaz, a young Muslim barista at Starbucks who without asking left his cappuccino machine to sit down at my table.  We began to converse about life in America and Malaysia, his 1st child due in December, how he feels about Ramadan fasting and that he really does not understand what “Islam is about”.  Wow, what a first conversation!

Everywhere Cindy and I turn here in Penang we find young people wide open to conversations and hearts more open to the Gospel then we could imagine.  Thanks to Wi-Fi cafes, Venti Lattes, Satellite TV, Singapore Airlines, Google and the internet, the world has grown smaller and the great Gospel is able to be spread like never before.

Cindy and I are so grateful for your support and prayer of this ministry.  Through your partnership,you have planted our family in this Muslim nation and together we will be a part of the Lord “building His Church” here.  Like the 30 year old Mango tree in Cindy’s Kuala Lumpur front yard that still bears fruit, we believe a church will be established in Penang that will “bear fruit” for generations to come.  What an opportunity!

Thank you so much for supporting this wonderful work and helping us plant this “mango tree” in Malaysia.  Romans 10:15 how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Thank you for sending us. May the Lord bless you and your “beautiful feet”!

New Year, New Nation, New Church Plant

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One cool spring morning this March in Nashville, TN, I sat at water’s edge at Radnor Lake (think Walden Pond).  This was the spot I spent hundreds of hours seeking the Lord as a new Christian.  As I prayed about a transition Cindy and I knew was approaching, I heard a “still small voice” repeating over and over Penang, Malaysia.  Was the Lord leading us to Malaysia? Time would tell I thought.

To be honest, I knew very little of Penang, Malaysia.  What I did know was Penang is an island off the coast of Malaysia, it’s the birth place of Cindy’s father, Hokkien is spoken there (a dialect of Chinese Cindy speaks fluently), it’s EXACTLY 180 degrees from my birthplace Cleveland, OH (see Google Earth) and is home to a new Every Nation church plant.

As we continued to seek the Lord about the future, many more signs began to lead us to Malaysia.  We knew by June 10 our VISA’s would expire, we would need to move out from our rental home which was put on the market, our two congregations in Auckland would be combined into one for a season and we would be on an airplane to Malaysia for Cindy’s sister’s June wedding.  Then a van was leased for us and a house made available to us in Kuala Lumpur for free .

To make a long story short, our family has just spent the last 4 weeks in Penang “scouting out the land” and we know the Lord has truly called us to help plant a church in this amazing place.

In the last four weeks, we fell in love with Pastor Jojo and Ida Henson and family from Manila (planting their 5th church), the ethnic diversity of Penang (45% Chinese, 40% Muslim Malay, 10% Indian, 5% others) and we saw an amazing harvest field woefully short of laborers.  The Lord had made His will so clear it was impossible to say no.  So we said “Here we are Lord, send us!”

But without you, our church planting work with Every Nation would not be possible.  Your prayer and partnership is literally planting a church in a Muslim nation that desperately needs the light of Jesus to shine.  So we say to you also, “Here we are (in Malaysia), send us”.

Thanks so much for standing with us in the this time of transition.  We could not imagine life without friends like you.  You are so so important to our family.  We love you and God bless you and your family!

Farewell Our Beloved New Zealand

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As our family walked through the airport at 3 AM with tears in our eyes for our flight to Malaysia, we were shocked to see the 40+ crowd waving good bye to our family from the windows of the terminal.  I mean, who goes to the airport at 3 AM to say goodbye?  What a touching last memory of our time in New Zealand to cherish.

I must say that Cindy and I gave all of our heart and soul to these people, and we saw the Lord do amazing things over our four years in Auckland.  Even on our last Sunday, as we were being sent out from Every Nation Christian Church – Auckland, we were told that a Maori girl and single mother of six children who recently got saved and wanted us to baptize her.  What an amazing moment as we packed 16 people in a bathroom for the baptism of Noru!

We are now in Malaysia and Cindy is catching up on 15 years apart from her parents.  Our time in Kuala Lumpur is part sabbatical, part family wedding and part mission to see the Lord move in her parent’s life.  Most days we wake to the smell of incense burning at the Buddhist altar of her mother, but we trust the Lord is using us and our children to get into the hearts of her parents who so desperately need Jesus.

Please keep our family in prayer in this season as we minister to her parents and seek the Lord about our future ministry assignment in Malaysia or the United States.  Thank you also for your patience as we rest and prepare for the most amazing season of ministry that lies ahead.

Each day in Malaysia, we find myself looking into the eyes of burqa clad Muslim women, young professionals burning incense at a Buddhist alter and 18 year old Hindu’s bowing down to an altar of a moustache clad “god” that looks like Tom Selleck.  And we realize how much this world is in bondage to false religion and how desperately they need to know our savior Jesus.

Thank you again for your prayer and partnership.  We believe the Lord has hundreds of young lives waiting to be reached through you and our family laboring together. Please pray that the Lord would make His will clear.  Thanks again and God bless you and your family.

The Real World Auckland; Season 5

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Are you a fan of those reality shows like “The Apprentice”, “Extreme Home Makeover” or “Survivor”?  This genre has become hugely popular on television today, and I must say these are some of my favorite shows.  But what you see on television does not reveal all that happens behind the scenes.

To be honest, the victories and testimonies you read about each month in our newsletter do not reveal all the trials, testing and tears that come with them.  We may live in the exotic location of New Zealand and work with an eclectic group of Polynesian people, but life on the mission field can be incredibly difficult at times.

Cindy and I and the children are in our fifth year living 9,000 miles away from home, serving in the most gang infested community of New Zealand, reaching out to Polynesian people that look nothing like us, home schooling our four children, living by faith financially and facing the many challenges of leading an outreach that has grown to several hundred.  But we truly know we’re right in the middle of God’s will for our family.

We have climbed so far out on proverbial limb, there is nothing left to do but to hang on tight and call out to our heavenly Father for strength.  It is through all these trials, the Lord is depositing strength in our lives that we could have received no other way.  And we know the Lord will ultimately recycle all our trials and tests into treasure for His Glory!

Even now, we recall the former alcoholics, sexually abused young girls, former prostitute, suicidal teens, hopeless single mothers, broken families and ex-gang members who have come to know God in recent years and been transformed by Him.  And it is your prayer, your partnership, your encouragement, these lives and the limitless grace of God is what keeps us serving Him in New Zealand.

Thank you so much for your continued support.  You are so valuable to our family and this ministry.  We especially value your prayer for our family at this time.  You are certainly in our prayers! God bless you and your family!

Moving to the Largest Polynesian City in the World; Manukau

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When the Lord called our family to New Zealand in 2004, there was nothing to do but say “Yes, Lord”.  Now the Lord has spoken to us to make another move, a move to the largest Polynesian city in the world, Manakau City (South Auckland).

 Although Manakau City is just 40 minutes south of where we currently reside, the ethnic background of South Auckland is almost entirely Pacific Islanders.  This means they are of Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Cook Islands, or Maori (NZ) descent. Also, there is a large Asian population from Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.

Cindy and I are so excited to serve our new Every Nation Christian Church in Manakau City which has been seeing incredible growth. Truly, “the harvest has been plentiful, but the laborers” all live on the North Shore of Auckland.  But because of our love for the Pacific Islanders and to most effectively reach this community, our family will be moving this month.

Like never before we are asking for your faithful prayer for our family and our ministry.  Along with our move, our team is preparing to plant a brand new church in Waitakere City (West Auckland) and a new Every Nation Leadership Institute in Apia, Samoa.  But we know that nothing can be accomplished unless we first open doors through fervent prayer.  This is where we need you help!

Cindy and I are really hoping to develop a larger team of intercessors who will pray for our family, our staff, our churches and our outreach here in the South Pacific.  Would you be willing to commit to pray for us at least three days per week?

As partners with us in spreading the Gospel in the South Pacific, we believe the greatest help you can give at this time is by being apart of our intercessory team.  If you feel the led to be apart of our intercessory team, please enter your email details in the box to your right. You will then receive weekly emails with critical prayer requests.

Thank you so much for partnering with us here in New Zealand.  Your involvement with us is crucial to the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the South Pacific. Blessings to you and your family.